Mothers Resturning to Paid Employment Rewarding National Service?
It might appear in the early 2 1'1 Century, as if the employment needs of mothers returning to paid work are simply overlooked by policy makers. State employment policies occur within a 'hands off' framework, which apparently leaves major hiring and firing decisions to employers. What state intervention does occur is enacted within a rhetoric of choice, equality and fairness at work.
However, the state has played, and arguably continues to play, a decisive role in terms of who gets access to what work, and under what terms and conditions. At some points in history this is more obvious than at others. Wartime recruitment and demobilisation practices highlight some key aspects of gendered employment policies and the 'sexual contract' which are present but less obvious at other times.
This paper contrasts the treatment of a male-dominated group of workers in New Zealand in the period after World War 11, ex-services personnel, with that currently experienced by parents (mainly mothers) returning to paid employment after time spent raising children.
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